Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong brought out his old Carson High letterman’s sweater Monday in honor of the new School Resource Officer grant coming into fruition.
Furlong, along with members of the community met Monday to discuss more specific details about what the new resource officers would entail and how to get the community involved in the program. Furlong also introduced an advisory board for the resource officer program who will oversee and measure the success of the program.
“The philosophy for this is to the idea of making kids criminals should be the last option,” Furlong said. “We need to be there to foster relationships with these kids.”
During the program, there will be a number of assessments to track the progress of the program and the safety for those in the schools and in the community. Furlong said officials want to make sure this program is doing the opposite of how school resource officers reacted in South Carolina, where an officer was videoed physically throwing a student from a desk.
“We want to have this program where the Sheriff’s Office has better relationships with the students so instead of violence we can say to the students ‘hey Johnny, I see you are having a bad day, take a walk with me’ (to resolve the issue),” Furlong said.
On the advisory board are members of the community: Ali Banister, deputy chief juvenile probation officer from juvenile detention; Kathy Bartosz, executive director from Partnership Carson City; Ken Sandage, assistant sheriff; Joyce Buckingham, executive director of the Ron Wood Family Center; and Ann Wiswell, risk manager from the Carson City School District.
“We can’t under emphasize the importance of having deputies in uniform in the schools building that trust,” said Ben Bianchi, chief juvenile probation officer. “Those deputies who will be in these positions need to realize that it is not about getting them to juvie where we just take the cuffs off but it is about changing behavior. It will take time, but we can change how young people feel about law enforcement.”